There was one passage in the letter which pleased Dick. It was where Frank said that if he had the money he would pay for his education himself.
“He’s a tip-top feller,” said Dick. “I wish I could see him ag’in.”
There were two reasons why Dick would like to have seen Frank. One was, the natural pleasure he would have in meeting a friend; but he felt also that he would like to have Frank witness the improvement he had made in his studies and mode of life.
“He’d find me a little more ’spectable than when he first saw me,” thought Dick.
Dick had by this time got up to Printing House Square. Standing on Spruce Street, near the “Tribune” office, was his old enemy, Micky Maguire.
It has already been said that Micky felt a natural enmity towards those in his own condition in life who wore better clothes than himself. For the last nine months, Dick’s neat appearance had excited the ire of the young Philistine. To appear in neat attire and with a clean face Micky felt was a piece of presumption, and an assumption of superiority on the part of our hero, and he termed it “tryin’ to be a swell.”
Now his astonished eyes rested on Dick in his ancient attire, which was very similar to his own. It was a moment of triumph to him. He felt that “pride had had a fall,” and he could not forbear reminding Dick of it.
“Them’s nice clo’es you’ve got on,” said he, sarcastically, as Dick came up.
“Yes,” said Dick, promptly. “I’ve been employin’ your tailor. If my face was only dirty we’d be taken for twin brothers.”
“So you’ve give up tryin’ to be a swell?”
“Only for this partic’lar occasion,” said Dick. “I wanted to make a fashionable call, so I put on my regimentals.”
“I don’t b’lieve you’ve got any better clo’es,” said Micky.
“All right,” said Dick, “I won’t charge you nothin’ for what you believe.”
Here a customer presented himself for Micky, and Dick went back to his room to change his clothes, before resuming business.
DICK WRITES HIS FIRST LETTER
When Fosdick reached home in the evening, Dick displayed his letter with some pride.
“It’s a nice letter,” said Fosdick, after reading it. “I should like to know Frank.”
“I’ll bet you would,” said Dick. “He’s a trump.”
“When are you going to answer it?”
“I don’t know,” said Dick, dubiously. “I never writ a letter.”
“That’s no reason why you shouldn’t. There’s always a first time, you know.”
“I don’t know what to say,” said Dick.
“Get some paper and sit down to it, and you’ll find enough to say. You can do that this evening instead of studying.”
“If you’ll look it over afterwards, and shine it up a little.”
“Yes, if it needs it; but I rather think Frank would like it best just as you wrote it.”